natural stain remover tips

How Often Should I Wash My Clothes?

As a young adult I often found myself wondering “how often should I wash my clothes?”.  I didn’t really know the answer, so erred on the side of caution a bit too much and washed my clothes pretty much after every wear.  With the exception of trousers, that maybe got two or three wears before being chucked in the laundry pile, I operated a one wear only policy.

It wasn’t until after I became a mum, and my laundry pile was less of a pile and more of a mountain, that I realised that maybe it was ok to not wash every single item of clothing after every wear.  The wake up call for me was when I was washing my daughter’s sleep suits after every wear, even if she’d needed changing in the night, so had only worn the suit for a few hours.  I soon realised that as long as the sleepsuits looked and smelled clean then my daughter could wear the same sleepsuit several nights in a row and nothing terrible was going to happen.

Since then I have relaxed my one wear laundry policy, relying on looks, smell and feel before assessing if something needs to go in the washing machine after just one or two wears.   Not washing your clothes quite so frequently helps prolong their life, saves you a bit of money, and helps the environment, as well as saving you time and energy so it’s something I’m completely on board with!

how often should I wash my laundry

If you want a bit more reassurance then going by nose alone, then I found this handy guide on how often should I wash my clothes from the people at Real Simple that I’ve reproduced here, and you can read the full article here.

How often should I wash my clothes?

how often should I wash my clothes

image courtesy of Real Simple

What do you think?  Are you onboard with washing your jeans after every four to five wears, or leggings after up to three wears?  I have a toddler in the house – think sticky hands, snotty noses, and so forth, so I would be very lucky if I could get my jeans lasting up to needing a wash after five wears!

And how often do you wash your clothes?  I’m curious!

ps: see my guide on how to wash wool for tips on advice on how to keep your woolens looking better for longer, my guide on how to wash white striped clothing, my guide on how to make your own fabric conditioner and my natural stain remover tips for all your laundry woes!

5 comments

  1. Mm… I probably do mine even less than that! T-shirts, pants and socks are daily; everything else gets about a week. Oh… and I never DO get around to gloves or hats or coats…

    I’m so pleased to be at a point now where my daughter’s pyjamas don’t get breakfast all over them EVERY SINGLE DAY, so we can usually get a few wears out of them. When she was a baby, she usually wore her sleepsuits for 24 hours at a time.

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  2. Great subject! We’re a nation obsessed with washing. Like you said, it’s often unnecessary and means we create more work for ourselves, as well as the planet. I’ve recently written an article on “waterless jeans” by Levi…the brand advocate spot cleaning and freshening up on the line instead of washing to prolong garment life and safeguard our resources.

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  3. With 2 little kids I have to wash almost everything they and I wear after 1 wear. I wish this wasn’t the case (particularly in cold weather, jumpers fill up a laundry basket quickly!) but there is almost always food/paint/dirt etc on our clothes. Also clothes moths are so bad in London and a top tip I’ve read for decreasing their numbers is to not have any food/sweat particles on clothes in your wardrobe.

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  4. I don’t have a washing machine at home, which definitely helps to hold off on the washing! The list is probably fairly close to what I seem to do without too much thought. No kids in this household, so that makes a difference, but with a partner in construction, my laundry is outnumbered at least 3 to 1 on most items! Sometimes I wish I had a washing machine, but at least this way laundry only takes a couple of hours every 2-3 weeks. But I never wash anything remotely “nice” at the laundromat – hand wash only!

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  5. I sponge down jeans, cords and other trousers and tops with warm water and 1-2 drops of lavender oil. Then, if necessary, a quick iron. I wear a lot of 100% cotton and linen so I tend to iron them and wear again if not soiled .

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